Alexi Lalas calls Premiership "inferior product"

We know that Galaxy GM Alexi Lalas is trying to drum up publicity for David Beckham’s arrival in the United States but this is just sheer lunacy:

There’s no accounting for bad taste. That a segment of the world worships an inferior product in the Premiership is their business. English football now has the haves and the have-nots. It’s just that the Premiership have become so skilled in presentation. They took a page out of American football and so now they have Saturday Showdowns and Super Sundays. I love it. This is high-calibre marketing – taking an inferior product and improving it through packaging.

The experts in England talk about David Beckham as if he’s going into semi-retirement. It’s insulting to say Beckham is on his way to Hollywood when he’s coming to play in one of the most competitive leagues in the world. There are a lot of stars who would struggle here.

There’s this delusion that if it’s English then it’s great. But a whole world exists outside of England. That’s reflected in the difficulties they had when everyone ran to the Premiership. Maybe it’s OK for the fan but, for the average development of the players, their game is struggling.

This is tantamount of the Canadian Football League calling out the NFL. Here are five reasons why MLS is not one of the most competitive leagues in the world.

[Guardian UK]: Premiership inferior, says Lalas


This wasn’t the publicity that MLS had in mind when signing Beckham

Various newspapers around the football world (so virtually everywhere but the U.S.) are reporting that David Beckham might be regretting his decision to join the LA Galaxy for five years and $250M.

He will win his 96th cap in the European Championship qualifier against Estonia in Tallinn on Wednesday — a game England must win to re-establish their chances of reaching the Euro 2008 — before returning to Spain to try to clinch his first league title with Real.

But after the success of his comeback, when he laid on England’s goal by John Terry, he believes he may have made a mistake in switching to the low standard played in America, particularly if he is to make a swansong appearance at Euro 2008.

This is probably just sportswriter speculation (aka pulling a story out of you ass) but it certainly can’t be pleasing to MLS and LA Galaxy officials who are basically betting the future of the league on Beckham.  While there has been plenty of press on the Beckham effect — sponsorship of MLS is up and ticket sales for Beckham games home and away are through the roof — the implication that he is simply slumming it in a minor league for the cash isn’t helping the MLS break through to become a major sport in America.

We hope that Beckham’s MLS contract is iron clad because if he bails and finds a way to buy his way out of it, MLS might  as well just fold up tent and start selling assets on ebay.

[Daily Mail UK]: Beckham fears he has made a huge mistake with Galaxy deal


Odds and Ends: They might be overestimating soccer in this country

According to a British tabloid (via the offside), the LA police are preparing a special SWAT team to be on standby during Galaxy matches in case English fans who attend his U.S. matches decide to do what English fans do, which is make NYC students look like amateurs.

We’re very skeptical that any sort of Beckhamania is going to touch off a slew of brawls and rioting at MLS games. Plus, the English fans won’t dare riot in LA. If there’s one thing LA residents know how to do, it’s riot. And of course, the LA cops are experts at controlling uprisings…

In other news…

[SignOnSanDiego]: David “fast food” Wells develops diabetes? We never saw this one coming.

[]: Iditarod racer disqualified for beating his dogs. Bob Knights says, “what’s the big deal?”

[]: chief tossed. (And yes, we hate the video that autoplays on the front door. Idiots.)

[Slate]: Duke, Eastern Kentucky, and 11 other odious schools in this year’s NCAA Tournament.

And finally, anyone who has watched sports in the past five years is sick of Subway’s Jared. But is that enough to challenge him to a fight? And if you could fight anyone from a commercial, who would you fight? We’d have to go with one of the two douchebags from the Cingular commercials.